Two years ago, the landscape of South Piedmont Conference volleyball made a major change when the conference realigned as an eight-team all-Cabarrus County league.
The SPC's inaugural season was great, with Hickory Ridge and Mount Pleasant tying for the regular season crown while Concord won the tournament title over Jay M. Robinson, proving the balance of the league.
This year, the SPC proved it could compete with any league in the state, as five teams made the 3A playoffs. Hickory Ridge was the best SPC team: 21-6 overall, including 13-1 in the conference.
Mount Pleasant, in only its second year in class 3A, was right on the Bulls' heels all season, going 18-5, 12-2 in the SPC, while Robinson was also solid with 16 wins.
Cabarrus News Coach of the Year: Patti Chason, Hickory Ridge
Patti Chason is used to winning. This year, the Ragin' Bulls' only coach in school history guided her team to its third straight SPC title, with her team winning a school-record 21 games and advancing to the third round of 3A playoffs.
This is nothing new to Chason, as she has guided her Hickory Ridge teams to a 57-19 record overall in the last three years, including a 40-4 mark in SPC play.
Cabarrus News Player of the Year: Elizabeth Widenhouse, Mount Pleasant
Elizabeth Widenhouse and her Mount Pleasant teammates are used to being the best. After seven straight conference titles, including three while Widenhouse was in the program, the Tigers fell one game short of a conference crown.
Widenhouse, the SPC Player of the Year, had a standout season leading the Tigers in kills on their way to an 18-5 record, including 12-2 SPC and a berth in the 3A playoffs for their second time in as many years in the classification.
All-Cabarrus News Volleyball Team
Kristen Smith, Hickory Ridge: Bulls' soccer star also a standout in volleyball.
Megan Yeargin, Hickory Ridge: Student body president also a star on the court.
Becca Lukasik, Hickory Ridge: Rock-solid player on league's best team.
Elizabeth Widenhouse, Mount Pleasant: Tigers' best player; dominant in stretches.
Karley Bowman, Mount Pleasant: Like Widenhouse, Bowman can close points in bunches.
Katie Suther, Mount Pleasant: Another talented Tiger with a bright future.
Madison Cline, Jay M. Robinson: Senior one of the SPC's best spikers.
Chelsea Wilkinson, Jay M. Robinson: Senior was a career standout for Bulldogs.
Amanda Carter, Cox Mill: Junior was leader of a much-improved Charger team.
Tara Trahey, Concord: Versatile player on solid Spider squad.